Wal-mart: a different animal

I wanted to weigh in on the Wal-Mart store (formerly the ?mystery busi?ness?) that is wanting to come to town and claim an even bigger market share than it already has.

Truth is, its established super stores are losing sales year after year and need to find a way to take even more money in. Therefore, Wal-Mart has come here to try to make that happen.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, including the best places to spend their money and why.

Many things have changed over the past 50 years, which is the length of time I have had to observe the world as an adult. Some changes have been for the better and many for the worse?especially in rural areas. And most of us live here by choice.

I have learned by observation and from research that Wal-Mart does not play by the same rules as the rest of us. Its ?Always low prices? aren?t always that low when you factor in what It is taking out of our pockets by gaming the tax system and causing many of its employees to qualify for government subsidies through food stamps (which are spent in, you guessed it, Wal-Mart).

By keeping most of its associates below the threshold of qualifying for company health insurance, many associates are forced into government-sponsored health care, which we all pay for.

In addition, Wal-Mart has caused many, many businesses to move manufacturing to China to cheapen the products they sell. In turn, that has caused many U.S. manufacturing plants to close?which takes away good wages for many Americans and tax revenue that comes from them.

I have no current statistics, but all of these moves have cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars. And it happens all year long and every year.

I know the marketplace is supposed to be a free market, but it really isn?t.

The Free Press has never obtained government benefits. We have competed in the open market and are here because we have provided a product that most people are willing to support.

We have gotten flack from some who think we shouldn?t accept advertising fliers from out-of-town businesses. We did not solicit these advertisers. They found us on their own and felt that we offer the best option for their marketing plans.

I don?t know of any local businesses that turn away customers who live outside of our community. Who in town would still be in business if they relied on only local business?

But with Wal-Mart we draw the line?not that it spends money with newspapers anyway. Wal-Mart is a completely different animal in so many ways.

We will be offering information to our local businesses on how to co-exist with this proverbial 800-pound gorilla.

Stay tuned.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@

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